By Chris Emma-
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Winter Classic injury to Kris Versteeg means it’s officially Teuvo Teravainen time for the Blackhawks.
Chicago recalled its top prospect, the 20-year-old Teravainen, to replace Versteeg, who suffered an apparent left hand injury in Thursday’s loss to Washington at Nationals Park. Versteeg is expected to miss a month, coach Joel Quenneville said.
“You feel bad for him, especially with how good of a year he’s having,” Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane said.
Versteeg was third on the Blackhawks in points with 27 in 34 games, ranking only behind Jonathan Toews and Kane. He exited in the third period Thursday after a shot from the Capitals’ Eric Fehr deflected off his left hand.
The return of Teravainen brought hundreds of onlookers to Johnny’s Icehouse for Saturday’s skate. The Blackhawks’ top prospect played in just three games last season, being sent down to the AHL’s Rockford in order to fine-tune his game. Teravainen posted six goals and 17 assists in 33 games.
“We just want him to play, play the right way and see how he’s doing,” Quenneville said.
Expectations are high for Teravainen, so the Blackhawks have attempted to temper those. He’ll center the team’s fourth line and likely progress from there.
“I know there’s some expectations,” Teravainen said. “I’m a young player, so I just don’t really try to care about that too much.”
The Blackhawks return to action on Sunday when they host Dallas at United Center. Corey Crawford will be in net.